by Steve Hilling
As police have investigated the November stabbing deaths of four University of Idaho students, they have attempted to recreate the daily whereabouts of the man suspected of killing them.
In December, authorities arrested Bryan Kohberger and charged him with four counts of murder. But Kohberger didn’t attend the University of Idaho; he was a graduate student at Washington State University, approximately eight miles away across the state line.
But three different students tell PEOPLE that they believe they saw Kohberger at the Student Union building on the Idaho campus in the weeks before the murders — and that they later recognized him after he was arrested for the murders.
“It was really early in the semester,” recalls Chelsea, a sophomore at the University of Idaho. “He was at the food court [of the Student Union], drinking water. He sat by himself.”
“He was the type to stare,” she continues. “He wouldn’t look away if you caught him staring. Like he wanted you to notice that he was looking at you. He didn’t smile, didn’t nod, didn’t say anything. Just stared.”
“I told my friend to not be suspicious but to look at him, because the eye contact was making me uncomfortable,” she continues. “It was so weird that we ended up leaving and eating outside, because we wanted to get away from him.”
Another student tells PEOPLE that she saw Kohberger frequently enough around campus that she assumed he was a student at the University of Idaho.
“It’s not a huge school; it’s like a small town,” she says. “So you start seeing the same faces again and again. They become familiar, like you know that you’ve seen them in class or around campus. I definitely saw him more than once. He was just really quiet and really intense, staring. He made me uncomfortable.”
Madison Mogen, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin were all stabbed to death in an off-campus rental home in Moscow, Idaho, on Nov. 13. A masked intruder entered the home and killed the four students with a fixed-blade knife.
More than a month later, authorities arrested Kohberger, a 28-year-old graduate student and teaching assistant at Washington State University. He was charged with four counts of murder and one count of felony burglary.
Kohberger was arrested at his parents’ Pennsylvania home on December 30.
According to the probable cause affidavit obtained by PEOPLE, one of the victims’ surviving roommates said she saw the killer. The roommate described “a figure clad in black clothing and a mask,” who walked past her as the person left the crime scene.
The affidavit also alleged that Kohberger was linked to the crime scene from DNA and cell phone pings.
While authorities did not confirm these particular sightings, a law enforcement source told PEOPLE last month that they believe Kohberger spent some time on the University of Idaho campus.
The sightings have unnerved the school community, including parents of students.
“Whether or not [Kohberger] is guilty of killing those kids, there’s something wrong if a grown man who isn’t a student can just wander around campus,” says Mar Sampson, whose daughter was a student last semester. “Everyone needs to be really aware of their surroundings, and should feel free to speak up if someone makes them uncomfortable.”
The University of Idaho did not immediately return a call for comment.
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Photo: Monroe County (Pa.) Correctional Facility via AP Bryan Kohberger© Provided by People
Bryan Kohberger Visited Idaho Student Union Before Murders — and Was ‘the Type to Stare’: Witnesses (msn.com)